Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a are differentiated by their size, yet with not that big a gap between them in that department we reckon the cheaper 3a offers the better deal. You might be tempted by the slightly better battery life on the larger model, though it’s not going to make a huge difference in daily usage.
Price When Reviewed
Google Pixel 3a: $399
Google Pixel 3a XL: $479
Best Prices Today: Google Pixel 3a
It’s rare to find two brand-new phones so closely aligned in specification, yet so distant in price. While the Pixel 3a will cost just £399/US$399 when it goes on sale tomorrow, the Pixel 3a XL costs an extra £70/$80 for, well, not a lot extra.
Both Pixels feature the same core hardware, and the exact same software. The 12.2Mp primary camera, a key selling point for Pixel 3a, is also a constant across the range. So what is the difference?
Aside from the price, all that differs between the two is size. While the Pixel 3a has a 5.6in screen, the Pixel 3a XL has a 6in panel, both Full-HD+ OLED displays. Once upon a time in the smartphone market that meant for a significant difference in size, but with the pair adopting trendy new tall aspect ratios (18.5:9 and 18:9 respectively) this is no longer the case. There is just 6mm separating the two in height, 8.8mm in width, and 20g in weight. Both fit into an 8.2mm-thick chassis.
So while the Pixel 3a XL’s panel is going to be marginally more useful for watching media, playing games and getting stuff done, don’t expect a huge difference between the two – certainly not enough to justify the extra outlay for most people.
That said, with a larger chassis the Pixel 3a XL is also able to fit a higher-capacity battery – 3700mAh against the 3a’s 3000mAh. Until we’ve had the opportunity to run extensive testing it’s difficult to see how much difference this will make. Google says the XL will offer 14 hours of video playback compared to the 3a’s 12, and up to 18 days of standby rather than the 3a’s 13.
Both phones support 18W fast-charging, and both can offer up to 7 hours of use from a 15-minute charge.
Pixel 3a and 3a XL go on sale on 8 May 2019 via the Google Store and retailers such as Carphone Warehouse, EE, Argos and Mobile Phones Direct .
Read the full specification comparison in the table below, and read more details on what the new phones offer here. Also see the best cases for the Pixel 3a and 3a XL phones here.
Pixel 3a vs 3a XL specifications
|Pixel 3a||Pixel 3a XL|
|Display||5.6in Full-HD+ (2220×1080) gOLED,|
441ppi, 18.5:9, Always-on Display
|6in Full-HD+ (2160×1080) gOLED,|
402ppi, 18:9, Always-on Display
7 hours life in 15 mins charge
12 hours video playback
7 hours life in 15 mins charge
14 hours video playback
|Design||Polycarbonate unibody, available in Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish|
|Processor||2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core, Titan M security module|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR4X RAM|
|Rear Camera||12.2Mp Dual-Pixel Sony IMX363|
Autofocus with dual-pixel phase detection
Optical + electronic image stabilisation
76-degree field of view
1/2.55″ image sensor
1.4um pixel width
720p video at 30/60/240fps, 1080p video at 30/60/120fps, 4K video at 30fps
1.12um pixel width
84-degree field of view
480p video at 30fps, 720p video at 30fps, 1080p video at 30fps
Proximity/Ambient Light sensor
Pixel Imprint (rear-mounted fingerprint sensor)
Android Sensor Hub
|Charging||USB-C 18W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0|
|Ports & Slots||USB-C 2.0, single Nano-SIM, 3.5mm audio jack|
|Media||Stereo speakers, 2 mics, noise suppression|
|Connectivity||Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO|
Bluetooth 5.0 LE (AptX, AptX HD, LDAC)
NFC, Google Cast
|Software||Android 9 Pie, with at least three years of updates|
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL were announced at Google I/O 2019 alongside the Google Nest Hub Max ( reviewed here) and a public beta of Android Q.
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Google Pixel 3a: Specs
- Android 9.0 Pie
- 5.6in Full HD+ (2220×1080) 18:9 OLED, 441ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor
- Adreno 615 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage, no microSD support
- 12.2Mp f/1.8 rear camera with dual autofocus
- 8Mp f/2.0 selfie camera
- Active Edge
- Pixel Imprint rear fingerprint sensor
- Stereo speakers
- Headphone jack
- Dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0 LE with aptX HD
- 3000mAh battery
- 18W Fast charging
- Available in Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish